The Significance Of Multicultural Music Education Essay

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The teaching theory and practice in a pupil class of heterogeneous culture, lingual and national background constitutes a challenge for the contemporary music educator. The redefinition of music education theory and practice as well as the consideration of unevenness that describes the identities of pupils and teachers seems to become more necessity in the context of the dialectical association of education practice in a socio-political context which has a continuous interacting relationship with the altered global context.

The expeditious social changes of nowadays, the contemporary modus vivendi and principally the new European context necessitate the adopting of such educational approaches in which Cyprus could not only preserve and develop its local culture, but simultaneously its citizens of tomorrow could cohabit and collaborate harmonically with their fellowmen who come from different cultures in terms of mutual respect. The thought that the only way in preserving national identity is to close people within a state is in the 21st century out, because "it is possible (hypothetical) to acclaim, that multiculturalism can better assure the preserving of the national identity than inferiority to only one culture" (Iglicar 2002 in Mihelac, 2008, p.35).

In Recent years several changes have made the Cypriot society diverse and in consequence these changes have made the cultural and ethnic composition within the schools considerably variable. Teachers have in their classrooms students from various ethnic groups. Moreover, public schools are noting an increasing number of non-Greek speaking and foreign pupils, who wish for a life in a Cypriot cultural context, without betraying their own cultural heritage.

The current study will have a special research interest in the primary level of education. kauoristiko rolo stis mousikes tous protimiseis paizoun taprwta stadia tis ekpaideusis tous.


In part A in part B ti tha akolouthisei

Setting the Context of the Study

To enable the reader to relate to the context of the research study, the following section aims to give brief illustration regarding the rationale issues of the chosen investigated area and to present the aims and the objectives of the research study. Moreover, it will briefly present the research methodology and discuss the contribution of the current study to the already existing research.


This dissertation topic was initially chosen because of my personal interest in multicultural music and the significance of its approach to the primary education of Cyprus. As an aspiring music educator in primary schools, multicultural issues dealing with music education will be analysed through this research study in order to contribute to the development of a wider scope for the content of the primary music curriculum of Cyprus. It is remarkable to notice that the content of the Cypriot national music curriculum in primary education, besides the reference to some Cypriot traditional songs, it is focused predominately on a Western-European perspective. In addition, the 'actual or received curriculum', as Kelly defined the implementation of the curriculum (2009, p.11), does not seem to provide pupils with a variety of musical experiences, as the majority of music lessons in reality do not take into consideration the pedagogical value of musical diversity.

Although the official government of Cyprus gives the opportunity for free education to every resident of the country without any exception, there is a very poor history of multicultural points of view in its curriculum philosophy (Zembylas, in press in Vrasidas, Themistokleous & Zembylas, 2009). Inspite of this educational status quo, it seems that Cypriot society has to leave its nationalistic ideals and develop a multicultural approach to official education, and specifically music education, so this can be part of the required philosophy of the whole educational curriculum. This would be a vital revolutionary improvement, crucial for the requirements of the contemporary multicultural society of Cyprus.

Aims and Objectives of the Research

The purpose of the present research is the development of multicultural issues in the primary music curriculum in Cyprus. Particularly, this study seeks answers to the following research question: How can multicultural music approach be developed and applied in the primary music curriculum in Cyprus? The discussion of the research area constitutes mainly through a small scale survey in England, which aims to examine some of the multicultural perspectives in music teaching in the primary educational system of the country.

At a first level, the objective of the research study is to investigate the historical and socio-political influences affected the Cyprus society as well as its educational system. It also attempts to set the changing context of contemporary school situation, through the lens of cultural diversity in pupil population. Moreover, it presents a brief discussion of the government policy regarding multicultural issues in primary education.

Furthermore, it attempts to investigate the academic literature regarding multiculturalism, music education and discuss the debate of Western-European music and multicultural music. A further objective of this study is to illustrate the Cypriot music educational context through the lens of multicultural issues. The examination of music education in Cyprus it is focused on the content of both, the present 'planned' and the 'received' curriculum. Furthermore, this project will establish the level of multicultural content in the primary music curriculum in Cyprus and highlight the significance of the implementation of a multicultural perspective in music education that will enrich the music curriculum of Cyprus. It will also investigate the reasons of the largely mono-cultural philosophy of the educational curriculum.

Finally, this research project attempts to recommend some educational approaches that could be applied in primary education in order to enhance multicultural perceptions.

It will be discussed some parameters dealing with multicultural music curriculum such as teacher education, attitudes, teaching practices and teaching resources, and suggest recommendations for the Cypriot educational context. The discussion of the findings of an educational system, such us English, which seems to apply this educational approach in music education as well as further investigation of previous academic bibliography, they lead to recommendations of development a multicultural approach based on a Cypriot society.


Existing literature review constitute an essential method addresses the research process. The current study aims to provide accurately researched documented data through the bibliographical research - identify books, articles, government documents and previous dissertations and theses relevant to the research area. Secondary data, which accessed though libraries in London and Nicosia (Cyprus), are mainly focused on recent sources and those written by eminent researchers in the field of multicultural music education. Primary sources were also collected in order to provide first hand information through interviewing teachers in England and having informal conversations with teachers in Cyprus. The suitability for the selection of the participants was based on their current professional experience in primary music teaching.

Original Contribution

Despite the growing interest in multicultural music education, similar research projects in the field of music education with focus to the specific situation of the Cyprus educational system in primary educational level seem to be very limited. This study attempts to add to the already existing music education research concerning multicultural issues by suggesting recommendations to the development and implementation of this educational trend to the primary music curriculum, based on the Cypriot context. Hopefully, the present study will put its small rock to the development of a knowledgeable music education. The contribution to the enrichment of the Cypriot music curriculum could make this study a pioneering venture and at the same time a critical step towards the field of music education.


Drawing the Cyprus Context


An investigation of the level of multicultural music in primary curriculum in Cyprus requires an introduction to the country's context. Therefore, the following chapter offers the historical and ethnic background of Cyprus as well as its contemporary demographic changes. It also attempts to provide a picture of multicultural issues in education as well as an overview of the governmental policy regarding intercultural education.

Multiculturalism in Cyprus Society and Education

Historical and Ethnic Background of Cyprus

Cyprus (Wikipedia) in Greek Κύπρος, Kypros, in Turkish Kibris), officially the Republic of Cyprus is the third largest island, situated in the East Mediterranean Sea, at a crossroad of three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. The geographical position of Cyprus placed the country between 'West' and 'East', a fact that arise the ambiguity of the cultural identity of the country. .....krisimi geografiki thesi ..According to the Statistical Service of European Union the population of the country in January 2010 was less than 800.000 (Eurostat, 2010). Multicultural society of Cyprus has its own genesis.

Until recently, the Cypriot society was relatively homogeneous, populated by Greek orthodoxe citizens, the last years the consequences of mass arrival of immigrants from the countries former Soviet Union came to Cyprus to seek employment. Despite that Cyprus is situated at the crossroads of various civilizations and it always has elements of multicultural society, the country meets today an unexampled presence of foreigners, workers, visitors, or permanent habitant.

Mainly after the occasion of country's entry to European Union in May 2004 Cypriots have more than before the opportunity to contact with other cultures in their everyday life.

Cyprus is a small multicultural country. Greek-Cypriots, Turkish-Cypriots as well as the three acknowledge religious groups regarding the constitution of Republic of Cyprus (1960) which are: the Armenian, Maronites and Latinoi, they all synthesise the multicultural concept of the country.

The number of employed aliens in January 2010 was approximately 60.000 citizens.

The Cypriots also hope for a viable and effective solution of the political problem of the country, in which they will stand on the pleasure position to collaborate in personal as well as in communal level with Turkish Cypriots.

Koutselini (1997, p.395) points out that an extensive literature review on history of education indicates that the national curriculum which reflects the content of the education of a country is highly associated with social, political and economic factors (Apple, 1979; Ball, 19990; Goodson & Ball, 1990 in Koutselini, 1997). The case of Cyprus constitutes a confirmation example of this approach and differentiation of curriculum among different historical periods has been caused mainly because of social and political ideologies (Persianis, Koutselini).

The primary political ideology of Greek-Cypriots was the belief that they were unfeigned descendant of ancient Greeks and they constituted an integral part of Greek nation. As Persianis reported characteristically they were pride for their origins and Greek history and they believe to the struggle for Cyprus union (in Greek 'Enosis') with Greece (Persianis 1994, p.45). The official educational system was fully affected by this political aims and during the Ottoman (1570-1870) and British domination (1878-1960) as well, this ideologies were applied on the aims of national curriculum which referred to "cultivation of 'national' or 'ethnic' identity and the preservation of the Greek character of the island" (Koutselini, 1997, p.396).

School Population

With the Cypriot population becoming more and more multicultural, the school population has also changed and become more diverse. Reflecting the situation in society, public Cypriot schools have consisted of relatively homogeneous population. During the last decades, the percentage of non-indigenous pupils increasing in proportion, though, Greek-Cypriot pupils are still in the majority. Specifically, current official statistical results reported by the Director of Elementary Education of Cyprus showed the increasing number of foreign pupils coming from different countries and attending Cypriot public schools (The Ministry of Education and Culture, 2010).

Table 2.1: Percentage of the school population of the public primary and nursery schools for school year 2009-2010 (Ministry of Education and Culture in Cyprus, 2010)










Maronites [1] 



Armenian [2] 



Foreigners [3] 



Despite the fact that Greek-Cypriots pupils seem to constitute the majority of school population in the non-occupied area, however, as Oikonomidou (2003) underlines, there are some cases where foreigners are the majority of the total pupil amount (in Panayiotopoulos & Nikolaidou, 2007). Vrasidas, Themistokleous and Zembylas (2009) add that non-indigenous pupils in some schools constitute the vast majority, at between 80% and 90%.

The changing face of Cypriot educational context can be identified through a long term review of the last ten years that is studying the school years from 2001-2002 to 2009-2010. It is notable that the percentage of the pupils who do not speak Greek as their mother tongue has been rapidly increasing in the public schools of Cyprus. During the school year of 2001-2002 the percentage for non-Greek speaking pupils was 4.4%, whereas in 2009-2010 this percentage rose to 10.5% of the total school population. The respective percentage in the nurseries amounts 11.2% of the total school population, a number that demonstrates a continuing increase in primary level for the next year (Ministry of Education and Culture, 2010).

Table 2.2: The percentage of pupils enrolled in public schools that do not speak Greek as their mother tongue (2005-2010)




















Intercultural Approach

Prowthisi metrwn apoti dhmotikh ekpaideysh ... " " ta opoia wstoso periorizontai sto mathima to ellinikwn??

Auta ta dedomena den mporoun na agnoithoun apo thn episimi ekpaideysh dhmosia.....

Prospatheies ...mesw ekpaideutikhs metarithmisis diapolitismikos dialogos...ypo emfash stoxoi ....einai omws ousiastiki i prospatheia i einai prospatheia na afomoiwthoun stin kipriaki koinwnia?? A pot of assimilation ..multicultural education tends to lean toward assimilation rather than toward cultural pluralism. hand in hand with society position of minority groups in the country ...epifilaktika fovitsiasmena ...( a lot of newspapers state from time to time the beliefs of Greek-Cypriots regarding the bad fainomena stoun xenous...teleutaia xwra eurovarometro

Cultural diversity seems to threaten the unity of Cypriot society rather than encourages the equal opportunities for all pupils.

Based on the occasion of declaration on behalf of European Union for the year of 2008 as a European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, the Ministry of Education and Culture in Cyprus entitle as objective for the school year 2007-2008 the Intercultural Dialogue.

Changes are obvious in the social profile of Cypriot society and the statistics confirm the continuing increase of immigrants, especially of economic immigrants, during the last years (Panayiotopoulos & Nicolaidou 2007). In the field of educational policy it has been continuously highlighted the significance of re-examination of the mono-cultural view of education. At this traditional trend the equal opportunities of pupils are translated as assimilation of minorities from the ascendant population or as incorporation of cultural differentiation, without however substantial attempt of their protection (Panayiotopoulos, Nicolaidou 2007).

Why is the music curriculum in Cyprus largely mono-cultural??

Since 1974's Turkish invasion, the two communities have been living apart. As a result, Greek Cypriot education, which this study aims to examine, has developed rhetoric in order to confirm Greek identity.

Why is mono-cultural?

The importance to become multicultural

Regarding the official Website of the Ministry of Education and Culture in Cyprus (MOEC),

'basic concern of Primary Education is the effort in order that the students know and love their national heritage and they realise their national identity: the Greek language, the Greek orthodox religion, the history, the culture and the tradition of our place'. Compatibility of two values: equality of opportunity and a person's right to maintain his or her cultural identity (Eldering, 1996, p.316). epifaniaki kiriarxos stoxos einai the national identity

"Particularist approach" multicultural education limited solely to pupils from ethnic/cultural groups (Eldering, 1996, p.319).

Simultaneously, however, having awareness of responsibility against the multicultural tendencies that are developed in the modern world with the globalisation, helps the pupils to acquire cross-cultural conscience, cultivating them attitudes of acceptance and respect of diversity of members of other national teams.

Also important is the work that is carried out in the Municipal Education and contributes in the harmonious coexistence of all students of school, independent from the different national or other payments of each one. Particularly in our days, where Cyprus constitutes anymore official member of European Union, it is obvious that in the Municipal Education is carried out important work, in order that the young students acquire from very early conscience of their identity as European citizens.

The year of 1960, when was the independence year of the Republic of Cyprus state from the United States, it has given a finale to all the occupations that Cyprus suffered for centuries. Mainly, because of its attractive geographical position in the Mediterranean Sea, the island faced the captivity of Arabian (649 - 965), Roman (965 - 1191), Venice (1191- 1571), Ottoman (1571 - 1878) and British domination (1878 - 1960). The country could not be unaffected from its torturous road, and as a result the traditional music of Cyprus seems to be influenced by other traditional musics, coming from the imperators and the other contiguous countries as well. The fact that Cypriot traditional music seems to have resembling characteristics with countries of Middle East and Turkey might be a reason that strengthens the non-European spirit of Cypriot traditional music (Kasinou, 2009).

Multiculturalism in Cyprus

Decade of 1950 and 1960 in Cyprus it existed a multicultural context in the country because of the peaceful coexistence of Christians and Muslim, Greek-speaking and Turkish-speaking people, movements from both communities grow up: the Greek Cypriots support the idea for union with Greece while among Turkish Cypriots was developed the idea of country dichotomy as a reject of idea of union of Cyprus with Greece. The transformation of multicultural society in a mono-cultural was the sequence of nationalistic movements by both communities, which drowned the two communities in to blood.

Why is mono-cultural?

Unfortunately, the history of Cyprus, the raids, the conquests, the Turkish military invasion in 1974 and occupation of the 37% of the island territory, the demographic change, the immigration and the diachronic threat for the national and natural survival of Greek-Cypriots in the 'land of their fathers', continue acting upon as inhibitory factors in the growth of cultural respect and collaboration. These factors have created xenophobia, and reserve against multiculturalism.

The results of research of eurobarometer, that were held in the frames of European year of "Intercultural Dialogue", confirm this xenophobia and reserve Cypriote against the opening of Cypriot society to other cultural horizons:

Nationalism in Education

Unfortunately, the adventuresome history of Cyprus, the raids of foreign people in the country, the occupations, the Turkish invasion in 1974 and occupation until today, the demographic alteration, the Turkish military settlement, the immigration and the diachronic threat at the national and natural survival of Greek Cypriots in the ground of their fathers, continue acting upon as inhibitory factors in the growth of cultural collaboration and respect for other cultures. These factors have created phobia, suspiciousness and reserve against multiculturalism. The statistical results of the research of eurobarometer, that were held in the frames of European year of "Intercultural Dialogue", confirm this phobia and reserve of Cypriots against the opening of their society to other cultural horizons. In particular, regarding this survey conducted in 2008 'the highest levels of disagreement .. were found in Malta, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania' people with a different background (ethnic, religious or national) enrich the cultural life of their country)


Multicultural Music Education


Review of Related Literature

Literature review of this research concerns definitions of multicultural music and also discusses the raised problems and possibilities of this educational trend though out the current bibliography. This section also addresses the application of multiculturalism, which discussed above, with its perspectives in music education.

Intercultural education is among the discussed goals of Educational Reform which set its implementation in 2003 by the Ministry of Education and Culture (Ministry of Education and Culture, 2008).

The music educators should not ignore the issue of multiculturalism in education today. The music educators has the key to formulate the future of an integrated music education, changing their attitudes and their teaching methods and practices.

What is Multicultural Music Education?

The debate of Multicultural Music and Western-European music

Social rational, global rational, rationale based on the role of music in society, on the elements of the musics themselves, aesthetic rationale

The problems and possibilities of Multicultural Music Education

School as cultural site

One of the most important places where the pupils get in contact with obvious contradictions of contemporary life with its dialectic relation with cultural identities construction seems to be the school area. School does not only constitute an instructional site, but pedagogy should be approached as both, a cultural and political practice (Giroux & McLaren, 1989, p.149).

Cultural Identity and Musical Identity

Music as culture

Music from Baily's point of view constitute a cultural characteristic that could connect peoples affiliation and stress their feeling of unit ethnical identity (1994, p.48). Music according the same approach is a "potent symbol of identity" and

Multicultural Music Education in Primary School Level in Cyprus

The following section will answer the first objective of the research and state the situation that leads to the research: the lack of multicultural music in the curriculum. However, it is important firstly to present brief information regarding the educational system of Cyprus, focusing on music, as a compulsory subject of the primary national curriculum.

The primary educational system of the country is divided into six grades, from six years old to twelve and it is highly centralized. The Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible to design and produce the syllabus of music curriculum in the form of official document called 'Analytical Programs from Primary Education: Music'.

Music is a compulsory subject throughout the six years of primary school education. It is officially taught for two forty-minute periods per week. In addition, the primary school programme also includes extra-curricular activities that include musical activities such as choir and orchestra. This applies only to grades 5 and 6 (children of 11 and 12 years old) and is only one period a week, where the children have to choose between sports and music.

1.4.1 Music Education in Cyprus at the Primary School Level

"Different forces through the years have contributed to the shaping of the existing music education practices in Cyprus. They have tremendously influenced the philosophy and the content of the music curriculum, the training of the teachers and the teaching methodologies." (Telemachou,1997, p. 105). Focusing on the teacher development, it is crucial to consider the local cultural, religious and political climate. The strong need to preserve the cultural and religious identity prevailed among Greek Cypriots and led to the existing music education developments. Under the British rule 1878-1960, the status of music in the curriculum had greatly improved. However, the Turkish invasion of 1974 has adversely affected the educational system. Due to this political situation, the educational orientation and ideology was now concerned with the revival and reinforcement of the Greek-Cypriot history, culture and identity. Teaching folk music and patriotic songs were the main objectives of music in schools (Telemachou, 1998). Gradually, new educational philosophies and music methodologies started to affect Cyprus educational system. These changes have started to materialise in a rather slow but steady rhythm.

From anecdotal information and from personal experience, music in the lower grades 1-3, is often neglected and replaced by more "important" subjects such as Maths and Greek, or it is restricted to mainly class singing and some recorder playing. Experimental, creative work and composition is not common practice (Telemachou and Economidou, 2004). In the upper grades, where music is taught by a specialist, it does not seem to be neglected. However, it still suffers because classroom music is in real terms limited to the "talented" children who sing in the choir or play in the orchestra (Telemachou, 1998). Although the curriculum emphasis is on supporting every child's learning, the main role that music plays after all, is to have a musical product, a performance for the different national celebrations at school with the selected children. The remainder of the children are left out and as a result they develop negative attitudes towards music. Likewise, Bentley (1975) stated that children are developing negative attitudes towards music lessons due to the fact that they have not "been given a chance to come to grips with music in any way comparable with opportunities in other skills or areas of learning " (p. 23-24). Stake et al (1993) have drawn attention to the fact that the arts in primary school are seen as a vehicle for the transmission of culture rather than education of children as individuals. This is the case in Cypriot primary schools, where music's aim, is to teach Cypriot culture, various local traditions of the different holidays and the celebrations of national holidays.

Statement of the Situation

the lack of multicultural content in primary music education in Cyprus. Methodology Specifically, The particular study will not make a research on what happens in Cypriot education, since it seems to be obvious that out some exceptions there is no multicultural approach in music lessons in primary schools. The beginning line of this dissertation will give evidence that pupils do not have the opportunity to exposure to multicultural music frequently through their primary education.

The beginning line is the article "The music curriculum as 'received' by children: Evidence from Cyprus primary schools", written by Natassa Economidou-Stavrou in 2006. The Cypriot educator conducted a research in Cyprus with a sample of one thousand hundred ninety-six children in their sixth and final year of primary school. This study has been chosen due to the fact that is probably the most representative of what is the current situation of Cyprus primary schools regarding the activities taking part in a music lesson, inclusive the exposure to world music. As the author refers "..despite one of the curriculum objectives, which stated that children were expected to appreciate music of foreign cultures… they were not given the chance to experience world music frequently". More specific, according to the responses of children, between sixteen activities that usually take place in a music lesson, world music came the last one.

This statement could be proved with the national curriculum theory. Looking through the curriculum it can be said that among thirteen objectives there is one which is relative to music of foreign cultures: Despite this objective the structure of music curriculum it is based only in Western-classical music

The 'planned' curriculum

The written curriculum, found in syllabus. The edition of the music syllabus is dated back to 1994, but the government republished the written curriculum twice in the year of 1996 and 2002. The structure of the music curriculum follows the model of Tyler: aim, objectives, subject matter and assessment. The emphasis seems to be placed on the concepts, which are classified into the six grades of primary school and are concluded to the subject matter. The content outline of each group corresponding to the six grades of primary school is described separately, clearly specified for each grade. The musical concepts categorised as follows: rhythm, melody, harmony, form and expression. The content of the six-year curriculum is focused in a Western-European perspective. World music as well as Greek Cypriot traditional music is stressed only through the objectives section. The content outline of each grade does not include world music. The only traditional genre is the Cypriot suite in grade six, the final class. It consists mostly of Western-European music from the baroque period to the twentieth century. Western tradition seems to prevail among musical genres in the design of the curriculum.At this point, it is important to clarify that the term curriculum through this research will refer both, to the 'planned' as well as to the 'received' curriculum (Kelly, 2009, p.11), because of the attempts to be provided a holistic picture of the primary music education. Statement of aims: 'to appreciate the music heritage of other people'.

The 'received' curriculum

The most frequent activity, according to children's responses was the choir rehearsals. This can be confirmed from my own personal experience, where the only thing I can remember from music in the primary school is the choirs. Although the planned curriculum emphasise the support of every child's learning, it seems that music play the main role of presenting a performance on national celebrations with the 'talented' children, selected and labelled as those by the music teachers. Because of the large number of these celebrations and due to the fact that the school community assigned to them a considerable significance it is needed to be spend more time for choir and orchestra rehearsals.

Stavrides in 2001 stated that Greek and Cypriot folk music "comprise an important component of the Music National Curriculum and they used as a means of cultivating pupils' understanding of musical elements and enhancing their musical development" (Sanderson & Savva, 2004, p.9). Nevertheless, more recent education research seems to prove the contrary. Pieridou - Skoutella highlights that states that this musical practice is either superficial or absent in Greek Cypriot primary schools. In the cases where traditional music, songs and dances are taught to the children, these are standardised, decontextualized, simplified versions and out of the local musical context and social meaning (p.257, 263).

Gap between theory and practical experience

Gap theory and praxis

Significance of Multicultural Approach

Social rationale

Musical rationale

(Anderson & Campbell, 1996) Except from its social rationale, due to its strictly association with intercultural education-understanding, multicultural music education could also provide musical benefits (see volk). Firstly, the pupils have the opportunity to meet a great "variety of different musical sounds from all over the world", expanding their musical experiences. Pupils in their early ages do not have musical preferences (REFERENCE). Therefore, the education giving them the opportunity of exposure to a large variety of musical styles and genres, from their early educational stages in primary school, it could play a determine role of helping pupils be receptive listeners to all (to diverse) musical cultures in their future life. Moreover, it is crucial to point out that the appropriate musical terms to describe the Western-European music in some cases might not be relevant or suitable to the tradition of other music, thus the pupils a multicultural perspective in music teaching could enhance their musical vocabulary (Anderson & Campbell, 1996). One of the most important musical gains is that pupils can explore different ways of musical expression. They

Another musical benefit through multicultural music teaching is

Aural transmition



Research Study


Research design

The following section will present the research design, which has been used in order to suggest recommendations that answer the initial research question: How can the principles of multicultural approach be developed and applied in the primary music curriculum in Cyprus? Concretely, the present section will initially illustrate the theoretical approach and the methodology, justify the reasons for the final decisions and portray the sample. Finally, the research ethics as well as the limitations that arose through the research and its method will also be discussed.

Theoretical Framework

Green reports that "recent global changes in communities and demography, affording unprecedented diversity in the range of music... are going hand in hand with interest by music education researchers in sociological methods, as well as related areas such as ethnomusicology" (1999, p.159). The research interest in the current study is the case of Cypriot primary education and specifically, the implementation of multicultural approach in the music curriculum of the country.

The qualitative research has been chosen to be the method of this study, due to the fact that according to the academia it is more suitable in researching social phenomena (Glaser & Strauss, 1999). According to Strauss and Corbin, qualitative research is defined as any type of research that "produces findings not arriving at by statistical procedure or other means of qualification" (1998, p.10-11).

The theoretical framework of the present study it is passed on the 'grounded theory', as developed by Glaser and Strauss (1999), which seems to be popular method in the educational research based on qualitative data. It is a theory derived from qualitative data, collected and analysed through the research process (Ibid.) Strauss and Corbin (1998) explain that the research area investigated without having a preconceived theory or hypothesis in mind. The researcher represents initially the research questions, as it is presented in the introduction section of the current research (see chapter 1.1.2), that attempted to be answered through the analysis of the gathered data. The researcher interacts with the data that leads to the enrolment of the research (Smith, 2008).


Notably, this study concerns principles provided by an educational trend which does not exist in the place of the research interest. For this reason, (a different educational system has to be examined) OR (it is necessary to examine how some multicultural issues are applied in England. a different educational system, which seems to develop the music pedagogy from a multicultural perspective). The research of the music primary education in England was firstly chosen due to the fact that throughout the music syllabus there is a multicultural emphasis on the wealth of world music culture (Department of Education and Employment, 1999) and this occurs mainly due to the requirements of the multicultural nature of its society. The specific country was also chosen because of the research possibilities, such us the opportunity to contact the music teachers and generally the school settings.

Moreover, it is crucial to spell out that the particular results of the research taking place in English primary schools cannot be recommended as suggestions to be applied in the case of Cyprus, without taking into consideration that it concerns a different educational context. The parameters examined in England constitutes the ignition for a potential discussion, who does not disregard the differentiations of two country situations, and elicits information which are indubitably based on the related country's background, as it is presented previously at the theoretical section of the study (see Chapter 2). Furthermore, in order to discuss the potential of a future application of multicultural approach in the primary music education in Cyprus, this research, except from England, it will investigate the attitudes of Cypriot primary teachers and their perceptions concerning this educational trend.

Regarding the research procedure, the main method of collecting and analyzing data was by interviewing music primary teachers. The purpose of choosing interview research method had a direct connection with the research objectives. Moreover, interviewing qualified teachers serves the purpose of the study, as they are the major pertinent for the application of the planned governmental curriculum. In the taxonomy designed by Cohen et al. (2000, p.271) the interviews had the type of "guide approach", where the covered parameters were previously determinated (see Appendix 2). However, this does not mean that all the participants were asked exactly the same questions in the same order.

The place of the study was partly in the Cypriot primary schools, conducting in June 2010, and partly the England primary schools, held on May of the same year. Three of the interviews were hold in the school area where the specific teachers were working and the others in a place of participants' choice. The duration of all interviews was not more than thirty minutes.


Regarding the sample of the research, five interviews in each country were held. The participants were music teachers who are working or recently have professional teaching experience in the primary school, either in Cyprus or in England. The sampling contains of both teachers' categories regarding their training: generalists as well as music specialists. The relatively equal participation of both categories ensures that both considered being formal educators having the responsibility to teach music in primary schools. The sample in research has been chosen randomly by contact the director of various primary schools, located mainly in the capital towns of both countries.

It is also important to mention that ethical issues have been taken into consideration. All the interviewers were informed about the purpose of the research and they were ensuring that the interview was being conducted on a completely confidential and anonymous basis. Thus, during the interview their names were deleted (Cohen et al, 2000) and the information that the participants provided during the interview have been used without link or reference to any individual's name.


For validity purposes, this section will point out the two major implications that determined the results of the current study. Firstly, it is crucial to notice that time limitations constrain the research to be focused just on two countries. Nevertheless, the nature of the research topic is related to global phenomenon, hence further and more detailed research involving multicultural issues in international music education should also be examined in order to export more valid conclusions.

The second limitation to be discussed concerns the research method and specifically, the small sample size, which does not exclude the possibility of reaching safely, generalized findings. However, despite the fact that it is not a large scale research, the current study can be examined as indication of multicultural perceptions in music school praxis in England, discussed parallel with the real situation in Cypriot context.




Contemporary societies, more or less diverse, all require respect of differentiation and call for acceptance of cultural diversity.




"Education is what survives when what has been learnt has been forgotten" (Elliot)

The changes in both, Cypriot society and education framework seem to have as a result the requirement of the inclusion of a world view of music in the national music curriculum of the country; the shift from a Westernized mono-cultural perspective to a multicultural. Multicultural education does not concerns the pupils comes from different countries, but it addresses the needs and the olopleuri education of all pupils. And this approach should not be limited to an ideological philosophy. The ...

this study highlights the need for further and more detailed research involve hence multicultural issues in international music education should be also examined.